Steam 2005

When the trains are not running.

For pictures of yesteryear visit my new fotopic site.

I am also starting a new fotopic site covering Spain.

Text in red denotes recent updates to pages.

The week before Christmas was extremely busy. On Tuesday 20th December 45231 Sherwood Forester hauled The Cathedrals Express from Waterloo to Yeovil Junction and is seen approaching Fleet in a rare patch of sunlight. This was the only train I could see due to my shift-working arrangements.

On Sunday 18th December two steam trains were scheduled to cross at Banbury at 1225.One was scheduled to be 4472 Flying Scotsman or 4965 Rood Ashton Hall heading for Didcot and 6024 King Edward I would be pausing for water on it's way to Stratford-upon-Avon. In the end Rood Ashton Hall ran to Didcot on time but the King had no stock to haul and had to wait for over 2 hours before leaving. A fine, sunny morning turned to a bitterly cold and dull afternoon by the time the King arrived.
On Wednesday 14th December 6024 King Edward I took its new water carrier on a test run from Tyseley to Old Oak Common. It is seen approaching Sonning cutting in the afternoon in light drizzle.
Sunday 4th December was a perfect day for photographing GWR prairie 5542 operating the shuttle between Cholsey and Wallingford. It is seen just south of the road crossing south of Wallingford in the afternoon. To visit the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway website click here.

Its Saturday 26th November and 45231 Sherwood Forester has a rare outing to Bristol with the Cathedrals Express from Victoria. It is seen at Winchfield, where the headboard was changed to The MGB Venturer.

On Sunday 30th October 4472 Flying Scotsman hauled a lunch excursion from Solihull to Didcot and return and is seen arriving at Didcot in pouring rain, running round and departing under clearing skies.

On Wednesday 28th September 34067 Tangmere was once again hauling the VSOE to Bath and Bristol. It is seen from the Kennet & Avon canal at Ufton Nervet.

Sunday 25th September was the last day of the Mid-Hants Railway Autumn Gala and I took the afternoon out to take these shots.

Saturday 10th September saw The Great Gathering at Crewe Works Open Day. Pictured here are all the Steam Locomotives in attendance that day.
Also on the 7th September 6024 King Edward I worked a 'newspaper' train from Taunton to Stratford, and having made it to Denchworth apparently with time to spare I heard the whistle as I was walking to the bridge and almost missed getting these pictures as it passed about 10 minutes early!
Wednesday 7th September found 34067 working the VSOE from Victoria to Bristol. It is seen passing Ufton Nervet about 20 minutes late after being delayed between Virginia Water and Ascot.

On Wednesday 31st August it was the turn of 45231 The Sherwood Forester to take The Cathedrals Express to Canterbury and it is seen accelerating away from Otford Junction with a clean, clear exhaust on a hot summer's day.

On Wednesday 24th August 5029 Nunney Castle was in charge of The Cathedrals Express to Bath and Bristol in appalling weather but the rain stopped just before it returned and it is seen around Theale at dusk.

It's Saturday 20th August and two trains were running between Reading and Didcot a few minutes apart. Some of us hoped they would meet up at Reading then run side-by-side to Didcot bit in the event both were late and they passed Basildon in reverse order to that planned.

On Thursday 18th August 71000 Duke of Gloucester headed back home to Lancashire and is seen coming out of the morning sun as it passes leisurely through Earley, whistle blowing a warning to the numerous track workers.

On Wednesday 17th August 71000 Duke of Gloucester was again hauling the Sunny South Express to Weymouth but this time it went via Salisbury so I took the opportunity of photographing it passing under the flyover at Worting Junction.
Its Wednesday August 3rd and 71000 Duke of Gloucester is now in charge of a Sunny South Express to Weymouth. It is seen passing Fleet ponds and later Micheldever a short while before it developed a steampipe defect (actually a cylinder core plug, fixed within 20 minutes).
71000 Duke of Gloucester rounded off a busy month on the main line with yet another Cathedrals Express run, this time to Exeter on Sunday 24th and is seen once again at Winchfield where despite the rain it put on a splendid display.
On Saturday 20th July 71000 Duke of Gloucester was again on Cathedrals Express duty, this time taking the train to Bath and Bristol, and can be seen at Ascot, Earley and Little Bedwyn on the outward run.
On Saturday 9th July the Sunny South Special to Weymouth was hauled by 71000 Duke of Gloucester carrying a Cathedrals Express headboard and is seen at its morning water stop at Winchfield.
On Saturday 2nd July The Cathedrals Express was diverted via Reading and Oxford due to the collapse of the "Tesco tunnel" at Gerrards Cross. On yet another dull day it is seen approaching Reading in the morning and passing Basildon in the evening hauled by 71000 Duke of Gloucester.
On Wednesday 29th June the Orient Express was to be steam-hauled to Bristol with the loco returning with the Northern Belle the following day. Just before 8 pm on 29th I received a message at Earley station that 34067 Tangmere had just left Theale with the return working! It is seen passing Earley some 20 minutes later.
On Sunday 26th June 45231 Sherwood Forester returned to the main line with a test train from Fareham to Alton, the load being 8 coaches and a 100 ton "brake van". It is seen passing the site of the original Ash Junction.
On Sunday 19th June I went to photograph 3440 City of Truro operating on the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway from the footpath just south of the Wallingford bypass. To visit the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway website click here.
Its Saturday 18th June and 6024 King Edward I is once again on The Cathedrals Express, this time to Gloucester and return. It is seen approaching Reading on the outward run and passing Waltham on the return.
On Thursday 9th June 6024 King Edward I was again in action on The Cathedrals Express, this time running to Bath and Bristol. It is seen entering Sonning cutting and passing Little Bedwyn in the morning.
Its Saturday June 4th and 6024 King Edward I is heading for Weymouth on another dull morning and has just shut off steam on its approach to Reading station where it is due to stop. Now added to this page are pictures taken by Cliff Jones at Twyford.
On Saturday 28th May 34067 Tangmere hauled the VSOE to Bristol and return and is seen passing Earley in the morning.
On Saturday May 21st King Edward I hauled The Cathedrals Express to Worcester and return. It is seen approaching Reading in heavy rain in the morning and passing Basildon at sunset on a much better evening.
I was on holiday in Early May but Cliff Jones was out and about with his camera and this page shows a selection of his pictures.
On Saturday 23rd April 5051 Earl Bathurst was scheduled to haul a Boy Scouts special from Newbury to Bristol and return to mark St. Georges Day. Earlier that morning it worked the empty stock from Didcot to Newbury Racecourse.
On Wednesday 20th April 34045 Ottery St Mary took The Cathedrals Express from Victoria to Bristol and return. Cliff 'LSWR' Jones took these pictures in failing light at Pirbright in the evening.
On Saturday 2nd April 34045 Ottery St Mary had another run out with the VSOE, this time to Oxford and is seen passing Earley on a misty spring morning, with some extra dead-weight in tow.
On Sunday 20th March it was the turn of the West Somerset Railway. It was the last day of their Great Western Steam Gala.
I visited the Mid-Hants Railway for their Spring Steam Gala on Sunday 13th March and have selected about 70 pictures, spread over 12 pages. Many of the originals are suitable for printing on A4 at around 240dpi. I can print on glossy photo paper or laminated inkjet paper. Cost would be around 3-5 per print, excluding P&P. e-mail below.
On Saturday 5th March 5051 Earl Bathurst hauled the Exmoor Express from Didcot to Minehead. It is seen at Lower Basildon and Ufton Nervet, working hard to regain time lost earlier on the 67017-hauled leg from Victoria to Didcot. This was photographed at Purley.
On Wednesday 2nd March 34045 Ottery St Mary hauled the VSOE Pullman from Victoria to Bath and is seen passing Earley on a dull winter's morning.
By Special Request: On Monday 28th February a special train was scheduled for a private charter from Victoria to an undisclosed destination. It set off behind D1015 Western Champion and changed to two steam locomotives at Taunton for a trip to Paignton. It is seen passing Earley behind the Western.
I had 3 weeks holiday in Malaysia in January/February and this included a four day trip along the 327 mile east coast branch line to Tumpat with a group of Malaysian enthusiasts. Steam locomotive pictures are here. The full trip report with pictures will be here later.

While I was on holiday Cliff Jones sent me this picture of 71000 Duke of Gloucester at Farnborough North whilst on its way home.

Saturday 8th January was the VSOE trip to Southampton Docks, this year hauled by 34067 Tangmere which is seen at Winchfield during its lunchtime drink.
New Year's Day found Richard at the Swanage Railway where 80078 was running the service trains and 34028 Eddystone was in steam by the shed.


Page created 27th November 2004.

Page updated 28th December 2005.



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